In the state that houses the Windy City, Illinois is also the home to residents with high credit card debt. On average per household, credit card debt in 2011 was $7,132. This is on the high end, given that the highest credit card debt back then was $7,937. The per capita personal income for the state in 2009 was around $41,411, which isn’t too bad. However, the unemployment rate could have been the cause for the jump in credit card debt, which was 11.5% in March of 2010. This dropped down a little to 9.9% in August of 2011.
Debt Collection Laws in Illinois
The large amount of debt in the state of Illinois would have likely caused collectors to use unlawful tactics to try and obtain payments. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, regulates how debt collectors are able to handle their business to obtain debt payments. Some of the things debt collectors cannot do in Illinois include:
- Threaten to call a debtor’s employer, unless the payment is over 30 days overdue.
- Threaten to share debt information with a third party that doesn’t have a business need for that data.
- Try to collect agency service fees that are, unless it was in the original agreement signed by the debtor.
- Use actions with the intent to cause physical or mental harm to the debtor or his or her family members.
- Contact a debtor’s employer without giving written notice to the debtor 5 days in advance.
Within the statute of limitations in Illinois, debtors are further protected with max time frames that a debt can be pursued in the courts after becoming delinquent. It goes as follows:
- Five years max for oral agreements
- Ten years max for promissory notes
- Ten years max for written contracts
- Ten years max for open credit card accounts
Illinois Debt Relief Solutions
As a way to steer clear of further debt collection actions, Illinois debtors can pursue Illinois debt relief services like debt settlement, debt consolidation, debt management or bankruptcy, if all else fails. There are reputable companies that you can receive these services from within the state. It’s imperative that you only work with one that is licensed by Illinois to offer the debt relief services that you are planning to use. Here is a look into your options:
- Debt settlement: A service where debt settlement companies will contact all of your debt collectors to negotiate a more affordable monthly rate or balance, to be paid off quicker.
- Debt management: A service that involves a debt manager who will oversee the payments sent to your debt collectors from your bank account. The manager will also negotiate lower payments to make things more affordable. In some cases, the debts are combined into one low monthly payment.
- Debt consolidation loan: A loan that is taken out to pay off all of your smaller debts. This should be used especially for higher interest debts, but can be used for any and all types of debts you have.